We love to note that YC The Cynic is raised in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop, as though it is a birthright to realness in a blood line deeper than Rakim's life source. I've never been to the Bronx, but I have a hard time believing it's not changed in 40 years. The undeniable factor to YC's music and resume, and what entices those lineage impulses, is that in addition to being an integral member of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (bringing community and the five elements of hip hop to his neighborhood) YC invokes his predecessors in a manner that proves he's not only celebrating their efforts, but adding to the conversation.
Jay -double hyphen-Z (see: Eh of July for reference), can rationalize why he borrows from Biggie, Nirvana, and REM until his lungs get sore, but his usage is pedestrian in comparison to the subversion employed by YC the Cynic on “Murphy's Law”. As YC's cohorts shoulder shake to the codiened treatment of “Notorious Thugs”, the once rapid-fire words of Christopher Wallace are emphasised by the pacing. As a result the track lingers on what Biggie meant by “label us notorious”. For years, it might have been overlooked as a casual reference to his B.I.G. moniker, but YC inputs it into “Murphy's Law” as support to his thesis; his references are part of a work's cited page, annotated in asterisk.
Many have claimed to think very deeply since the days of Boogie Down Productions, but on “Murphy's Law” YC the Cynic bends the words of Drake, the moniker of Posdnous, and the “get money” chants of Junior Mafia to his will, just to have us understand how the system is designed to keep us kneedeep in bullshit.
YC The Cynic's GNK is out August 26.